There are few weekend activities as typical as catching a flick with mates or a significant other at your local cinema, especially when Perth's winter weather is keeping you indoors. However, contending with exorbitant prices for tickets and popcorn, sticky seats and talkative audiences can sometimes make you long for the comfort of your own home theatre.
The price for a standard movie ticket can approach $20 in some of the bigger cinema chains in Perth, such as Hoyts, Grand and Event Cinemas. Add to that the cost of a regular popcorn and drink combo or a visit to the candy bar, and an evening's entertainment with the partner can easily top $50.
If you're looking for a more reasonable offering, Reading Cinemas provides a good value alternative to some of the larger movie theatre chains. Located in Belmont and Mandurah, a standard ticket at Reading Cinemas is only $10, about half the price found elsewhere. And you won't need to cut coupons or sign up to any mailing lists to get that price, either, as it applies everyday.
Their version of the 'extreme cinema experience', Titan XC, still represents great value at $12.50 for a 3D experience with 360 degree surround sound. You'll fork out a bit more, $28, for Gold Lounge, but will be treated to luxurious armchair seating and have access to the Lounge Bar featuring a decent menu and a selection of wines, beers and non-alcoholic drinks.
For those who like to munch while they watch, you probably won't save much on popcorn and drinks, with prices about the same as anywhere else. However, the servings are generous with a regular popcorn bucket lasting us about half the movie, and you are offered an upgrade to large for just $1.
At these prices, you'd be forgiven for thinking they must have scrimped on the cleaners or refurbishments. However, the theatres were clean and spacious, the seats roomy and comfortable and the screen was big. If anything, Reading Cinemas appears to be less popular than some of the other cinemas, making your film-going experience feel more private and exclusive.
If you're looking to catch the latest blockbuster without breaking the bank, I recommend Reading Cinemas. Unless of course you're a cinema talker, in which case I'd probably suggest you stay home.